5 Ways to Promote Healthy Poultry Production

5 Ways to Promote Healthy Poultry ProductionBio-security practices and farm hygiene are the most important measures in order to prevent the risk of disease in poultry production. So here are the quick 5 main ways that farmer should keep in mind while working on a poultry farm.

  1. It is an obvious fact that the healthy, unstressed birds to have active metabolism and effective immunity against disease. Thus, feeding birds with nutritionally balanced diet maintain a comfortable living environment and minimising fear and anxiety in the birds will help the birds to survive.
  2. Another way for eliminating the disease is the vaccination aid in preventing pathogens especially viruses by immunising the bird in such a way that it enhances the immune response when the bird is subsequently exposed to it.
  3. Poultry sanitation is the crucial step which the flock owner might normally overlook. Disinfectants are normally applied only after the equipment and the whole farm have been thoroughly cleaned. It is suggested to clean manure/used litter from the sheds and removed from the site on the same day. For the litter to be disposed of on site, the land disposal areas and sensitive areas such as farm must be separated to avoid cross contamination. Disinfectants are generally applied by sprays, aerosols and fumigation. A pest control program must be introduced to get rid of rodents and other pests.
  4. Litter amendment system is one such bio-security system that can act as an ammonia binder which helps in improving the exposure of ammonia to the birds and reduces its release into the environment. Litter amendment systems also having disinfectant properties may be used as bio-security enhancers in the poultry house. This also decreases the energy intake by lowering the ventilation needed during winter season.
  5. The farmer/workers should wear apron and boots on the farm to avoid cross contamination. Hands must wash thoroughly with soap and clean water. The number of visitors must be reduced to the farm house or get into the close contact with birds.

Main Issues to Consider for Organic Poultry Production

Main Issues to Consider for Organic Poultry ProductionIf you are considering establishing an organic poultry enterprise there are many issues you will need to think about. These are some of the most important:

Soil type: The soil needs to be relatively free draining. Heavy, wet land not only makes access difficult, it also creates more challenges for the birds;

Shelter: Poultry need a sheltered environment. Exposed locations should be avoided if possible;

Labour: Organic poultry production is more labour intensive than conventional systems; the birds are housed in smaller groups, often in mobile housing. As the houses are often moved around the farm, there may be instances where the birds are some distance from the farm buildings;

Infrastructure: Water should be available in the house (both at the brooding and rearing stages), and preferably also on the range. You will need good access all year round, to feed, observe and manage the birds. At certain points in the rotation, the houses may be some distance from the farm yard, and this may mean a significant amount of travelling, sometimes in less than ideal weather conditions;

Capital: A considerable amount of capital investment is required to establish a successful and efficient organic poultry production unit of any reasonable size. This may, depending on whether there are existing slaughter facilities available to you, also require setting up a processing unit on farm;

Feed: The move towards 100% organic ration, increasing feed prices and the emphasis organic principles place on home grown feed mean that feed is a major consideration when considering setting up or converting to an organic poultry system.

Step Towards “Ammonia- Free” Environment For Poultry

Step Towards “Ammonia- Free” Environment For PoultryNitrogen is highly found in animal excreta and can exist in various forms. One such form is “Ammonia”. Primarily ammonia is a result of breakdown of urea present in urine of birds by the enzymes; urease and uricase. It is a potential source to create bad odour and negatively impact air and water quality and animal as well as human health. Presence of ammonia above 25ppm in the poultry house can damage the respiratory system of the birds and also there is a reduction in immune system; leading to declining flock health and performance. In addition to the effects on bird’s health, ammonia has significant hazardous effect on the caretakers and to the environmental ecology.

High levels of ammonia emission inside the poultry house have also become a cause of concern for the atmosphere outside the poultry house. Therefore there is a great need to develop strategies to reduce ammonia formation, volatilization, or downwind transmission of ammonia after it is volatilised from the poultry manure to minimise the harmful effects of ammonia on animal and human health as well as the environment.

Keeping this in mind and with a view to develop ‘ammonia- free ‘and organic environment for all, Vinayak Ingredients have launched a product with a brand name “KiFAY” which is a blend of various herbal extracts in a diatomaceous carrier which acts as a DL-Methionine replacer and a nutritional feed additive and goes directly into the feed and acts as an amino acid optimiser and improves the apparent ileal digestibility of the feed and hence improves the protein turnover this also reduces the amount of amino acid degradation by the liver and excretion by kidney which form the major part of nitrogen compounds excreted by poultry. In turn these compounds are also responsible for ammonia and smell in the poultry house, apart from posing stressors for liver and kidney.

Vinayak Ingredients have also launched a Bio-security product which combats the remaining ammonia emission in the droppings of the birds which acts as a litter amendment system under the brand name of “ESSENTIOLITT-POULTRY”. Essentiolitt poultry is an ammonia binder and has bactericidal action on urease and uricase enzymes and inhibit the ammonia formation by increasing 45% nitrogen retention and ammonia emission.

How can litter amendment systems be of help to the environment?

How can litter amendment systems be of help to the environmentLitter amendment refers to the treatment of the poultry litter with chemical, herbal or biological remedies to reduce ammonia emissions, microbial contamination and insect infestations on farms. The poultry litter is an excellent source of nitrogen rich nutrition for plants, thus many farmers sell the same as manure for significant revenue. The treatment of such manure is necessary owing to the high level of bacterial and fungal contamination’s coming from the poultry gut.

As amino acids and undigested nutrients form a big chunk of excreta of broilers or layers, this medium is enriched further for aerobic and anaerobic growth. The urea and uric acid deposited on the litter is converted into ammonia by a number of bacteria and fungi. This conversion is not only deleterious for the environment as pollutants, but also is harmful for the birds as the gas predisposes them to a respiratory etiology. As the nitrogen depletes from the litter and leaches into the environment it reduces the quality of poultry litter to be used as manure. Use of litter amendment systems with antimicrobial properties which is also safe for application with the birds present on the litter is essential.

These natural or chemical substances should be also targeting the urease and uricase positive bacteria and thus also reduce nitrogen depletion from litter as well as concurrently also affecting the ammonia formation in the poultry house. In the advent of complete environmentally controlled houses another important reason to use litter amendment systems is to reduce the litter moisture and thus also help control the humidity in the house. The dessicatory effects of such products also help in cooling the house more efficiently and curb ammonia emissions from the litter. As more concentration of good air exchange occurs between the house and the environment, the effect of ammonia on the environment can be curbed. A complete litter amendment system should possess all these qualities combined with the ease of application and preferably being a solution of natural origin for easy bio-degradation.

Litter Amendment System

Litter Amendment System

As the litter goes, so goes the flock! This aphorism holds a strong meaning as it associates with management of the litter and its effect on air quality.Most of the time,litter quality often reflects how well one has managed these systems. This article deals with the litter treatments which are critical in management of the farm and control the spread of the pathogens. Hopefully, the following piece of information will aid in a better knowledge of some important management concepts with built up litter.

The most prevalent obnoxious gas in poultry housing is ammonia, among others producing irritation to the eyes and reducing resistance to infection in poultry. Ammonia is a colourless gas produced from the evolution of uric acid decomposition in chicken manure. Microbial decomposition converts uric acid to ammonia and carbon dioxide which is volatilise into the atmosphere. Many factors influence the growth of these uric acid degrading microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) present in the litter such as temperature, moisture content and pH. The limiting ammonia concentration in poultry houses is recommended to be less than 25 ppm. Blake and Hess, in their report state about continuous exposure to ammonia concentrations of 10 ppm damaging bird’s respiratory system, making them susceptible to opportunistic infectious diseases.

Using litter amendments could be one of the solutions to the above problem. Litter amendment system can acts as an ammonia binder which help in improving the exposure of ammonia to the birds and reduces release of this greenhouse gas into the environment. Litter amendment systems also having disinfectant properties may be used as bio security enhancers in the poultry house. They also reduce the energy consumption by reducing ventilation required during winter season.Moore et al. have reported that the application of alum in broiler houses considerably reduced ammonia levels within three weeks. It stated better poultry performance due to lower ammonia levels in the early growth stage. Furthermore, it lowered the electric bills, as little ventilation was not required to reduce ammonia. Overall, the benefits of using alum were approximately double the cost of investment (To read morehttp://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Program/212/LivestockGRACEnet/AlumPoultryLitter.pdf).Similar results were obtained when poultry guard was used as a litter amendment, reported by McWard and Taylor. In addition, it also reduces darkling beetle populations and salmonella levels in the litter (To read more McWard, G. W., and D. R. Taylor. 2000. Acidified clay litter amendment. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 9:518-529).

The litter amendment product, USM-98, marketed by UAP Southwest of Pittsburg, Texas, uses a combination of beneficial microbes and enzymes. The manufacturers of these products claim that such treatments allow microbes to work in sub optimal conditions in the litter or improve the conditions in the litter to enhance performance of the microbes. Venting the produced ammonia during layout will result in lower ammonia levels when the chicks are placed in the house later. This result in reduction of ammonia concentration, reduced mortality rate, and improved the bird performance. P.S. the above product is not published in any scientific journals. Also, venting ammonia into the atmosphere pollutes the environment.

Using amendments may offer other economic and environmental benefits: 
• Reducing ammonia loss will increase the nutrient value of the litter while improving air quality.
• Reducing ammonia production may reduce ventilation needs and, hence, energy costs in houses that have inadequate ventilation.
• Odor complaints from neighbours may be reduced.
• Pathogen and pest levels in the house may be reduced.
• Water quality may improve because the use of alum can reduce the loss of soluble phosphorus and heavy metals in the runoff from land-applied poultry litter.

Chemicals are also added to the litter to either reduce microbial growth or inhibit the mode of action, there by slowing the decomposition of uric acid. For instance, Phenyl phosphorodiamidate inhibits urease activity, reducing conversion of urea into ammonia. The main disadvantage is that inhibitors are currently not economically feasible to growers.A natural clay mineral, clinoptilolite (a type of zeolite) along with peat tend to adsorb ammonia. However, it has received mix reviews. One report states fair reductions in ammonia, while other study reports large increase in ammonia levels.Alkaline materials such as agricultural lime (CaCO3), hydrated or slaked lime (Ca(OH)2), or burnt lime (CaO) increase litter alkalinity and convert more of the ammonium in the litter into ammonia gas.However, this method releases lot of ammonia into the atmosphere, diminishing the fertiliser value of the litter, giving negative impact on the environment. Furthermore, if the alkaline material is not completely utilised during the layout period between flocks, ammonia levels in the house may increase when fresh manure is added to the litter.

To limit ammonia production, litter moisture below 30%;the litter pH should be below 7.0; and temperature at the level of the broiler’s satisfaction. Acidifies reduce ammonia levels in the poultry house and improve in-house air quality.This not only improves bird performance and health but also may positively impact worker health. Acidifies may decrease microbial loads in the litter, as well as pathogen dissemination to processing plants through the birds, thus becoming a useful bio-security control in the overall Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. Further acidifies also decrease darkling beetle populations at higher application rates. Finally, a well balanced fertiliser (high N/P ratio) will meet to the requirements of most crops. Overall, acidifiers are the most effective and widely used type of poultry litter amendment.

Currently, there is a growing interest in regulating ammonia emissions from animal facilities at each levels of the poultry industry. Many research studies has shown that litter amendments reduce ammonia levels in the poultry house and improve bird performance and health along with other economic and environmental benefits as well. In brief, the way in which we control built up litter will continue to modify as we are challenged with developing poultry production, welfare,food safety and environmental concerns.

Essentiolitt Poultry–Biosecurity & Ammonia control

Essentiolitt Poultry – Biosecurity & Ammonia controlBiosecurity is one of the most talked about topic in poultry industry. One of the important parts of the Biosecurity is ‘Litter Management’. Generally used beddings in broiler farms are rice husk / hulls, wooden sieves etc. This bedding in addition with birds’ droppings, feathers, water spillage & wet litter zone at both the ends (cooling pads & exhaust) makes a suitable environment for micro-organisms to grow, leading infection & respiratory issues in flocks. Another disadvantage is formation & emission of ammonia gas which not only creates problem for the birds but is also harmful for the environment.

To answer this long standing issue naturally, ‘ESSENTIOLITT POULTRY’ has been innovated which contains essential oils & standardised mixture of clay. The mixture of clay present in Essentiolitt Poultry absorbs the moisture content & essential oils helps in reducing microbial count inhibiting the growth of ammonia forming bacteria thus reducing the formation of ammonia gas in the farm. Also the property of slow volatility of essential oils helps in lengthening the product effect; maintains the odor in the farm & gives soothe ning effect to the respiratory tract of the bird.

With unique standardized ingredients, Essentiolitt Poultry is a complete package to tackle the most important issue of Biosecurity.

Essentiolitt – Poultry House Disinfectant

wet litter bedding problem in poultry

Essentiolitt poultry is a litter amendment system and an efficient ammonia binder that improves bio-security on the farm. It is to be used for broilers, layers and breeders.

It reduces wetness of the litter and destroys pathogenic micro flora in the litter by acting as a disinfectant. It acts as odour control program and accentuates the growth of beneficial micro flora. Essentiolitt is a combination of specially modified clay, aluminium sulphate and a blend of essential oils targeted to destroy zoonotic micro flora like, Salmonella, Clostridia, E.coli and Campylobacter species in the litter which can be an important source of infection for the birds. The essential oils in the formulation are targeted to control urea and uric acid converting bacteria thus controlling ammonia emissions, respiratory infections and also improve the nitrogen content of the litter which makes it an important manure source.